Straight edge punk – religious mutation or over-reaching?

Stewart, F. (2014) Straight edge punk – religious mutation or over-reaching? DISKUS: The Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, 16 (1). pp. 49-67. ISSN 0967-8948

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A mutation is often thought of in negative terms, that is, as a damaged or altered gene that can no longer fulfil its purpose as intended. However if we reverse our view and consider the whole as the vehicle that is incapable of fulfilling its purpose then the mutation becomes a new possibility. For the purposes of this paper, religion in its traditional sense will be considered as the „faulty whole‟ and Straight Edge punk rock as the mutation that creates new pathways for religious and spiritual experiences and understanding. This paper will demonstrate, through interview extracts, lyrics, music and visual images created by interviewees during field work in both the UK and the US,that such religious mutations create a spiritual identity located firmly within a secular (indeed one could argue profane) subculture. Yet they develop an approach to religion and spirituality that seeks a return of a sense of immanence without a necessity for transcendence. Their wilfully syncretic approach to spirituality is co-mingled with secular practices and ideas as they refuse a lack of distinctions. The paper aims to explore and locate this phenomenon of post-secular approaches to religion and spirituality, both as it is found and practiced within Straight Edge punk and within the wider theoretical concerns of religious migration and mutation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 British Association for the Study of Religions. This is the final published version an article in open access journal DISKUS. Uploaded by permission of the publisher.
Keywords: Punk Rock, Religion, Mutation, Straight Edge, Religious Surrogacy
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Francis Stewart
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 17:18
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 14:20

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